SYDNEY: Leg-spin legend Shane Warne will captain his Melbourne Twenty20 team this season, he said Tuesday, adding that talks were still underway to bring Olympic sprint king Usain Bolt into the squad.
Warne is leading a campaign to bring the champion sprinter who won the 100m and 200m events at this year’s Games to Australia to play for the Melbourne Stars franchise in the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League beginning in December.
He said talks were still “ongoing” with the Jamaican who played junior cricket before turning to the track and has long voiced a love for the game, citing a particular affinity for Pakistan pace legend Waqar Younis.
Warne, 42, enjoyed a successful return to the sport with the Melbourne Stars last season and team selector Ian Chappell said he was delighted he re-signed along with Sri Lanka’s explosive fast bowler Lasith Malinga.
“I’ve always admired his attacking captaincy, and in addition to his bowling guile we believe his leadership will have a positive influence on the team both now and in to the future,” Chappell said of the former Australian Test bowler.
Malinga, who last year gave up Test cricket to prolong his limited-overs career and who is the only bowler to have claimed three one-day international hat-tricks, has signed a two-year deal with the Melbourne Stars.
“He fulfils two important roles – he takes wickets and there’s no better finishing bowler in the game,” Chappell said.
Warne returned to cricket in last season’s inaugural Twenty20 Big Bash League, taking seven wickets.
The Melbourne Stars squad includes Cameron White, David Hussey, Matthew Wade and English all-rounder Luke Wright but there are still two positions available on their list.